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July 11, 2020


In September 2014, Harrison Mayor Ron Belmont greeted then-President Barack Obama at Westchester County Airport. Photo Credit: Provided/ Ron Belmont
Harrison Mayor Ron Belmont Photo Credit: File

Incumbents, Especially Democrats, Defeat GOP On Interesting Local Election Night

Early election returns on Tuesday indicated that voters favored incumbents over challengers -- and Democrats over Republicans --  in several city mayoral races and in most of the 17 races for Westchester County Board of Legislators.

Shortly after midnight, longtime Harrison Mayor Ronald Belmont had gained a slight lead over Democratic insurgent Frank Gordon. Although Republican Belmont once appeared at Westchester County Airport to greet then-President Barack Obama -- the anti-Trump factor played a near-spoiler role in Harrison and other towns dominated by Republicans. Unofficially, Belmont led Gordon by about 300 votes with 95 percent of the votes counted. Likewise, in the four-way contest for two Harrison town/village council seats, Republicans held narrow leads over Democratic challengers.

Meanwhile, a Democratic challenger was trailing incumbent Harrison Justice Pasquale Gizzo, a Republican, by just 70 votes overnight.

In another hotly-contested town election, first-term Yorktown Supervisor Ilan Gilbert, a Democrat, was trailing Republican challenger Matthew Slater by more than 500 votes, with about 79 percent of all votes counted. The four-way race for two Yorktown Council seats was led by two incumbent Republicans with 79 percent of all votes counted.

Despite a high voter turnout and highly-visible challenge from Greenburgh Party candidate Lucas Cioffi of Edgemont, Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner stomped his independent opponent to remain one of the longest-serving town supervisors in Westchester County. Feiner, a Democrat, was first elected in 1992. With 87 percent of all votes counted, Feiner lead Cioffi by 8,501 to 2,850, according to unofficial Board of Elections returns.

Another closely-watched election was in Mount Vernon, where Democrat Shawyn Patterson-Howard enjoyed an apparent landslide victory in a three-way race for mayor, according to unofficial vote returns from the county Board of Elections.

In the Mount Vernon race for city council, Democrats were running well-ahead of Republicans in a four-way contest for two seats. The unofficial leaders were incumbent Lisa Copeland and Derrick Thompson, with about 81 percent of all votes counted early Tuesday night.

In New Rochelle, Democratic Mayor Noam Bramson led Republican challenger Brendan Conroy, according to unofficial vote returns. Also, Democrats were leading Republicans in races for two City Council seats.

In Yonkers, Democratic Mayor Mike Spano led Republican challenger Mario De Giorgio, according to early vote returns.

In White Plains, Democratic candidates for City Council also led the way, according to early unofficial vote tallies. With about 86 percent of the votes counted, Democrats Nadine Hunt-Robinson, Jennifer Puja and Victoria Presser were leading a seven-candidate race for three council seats. 

In Eastchester, Republican Supervisor Anthony Colavita held a slight lead over Democratic challenger Michael Denning, with 94 percent of all the votes counted. 

In the village of Mamaroneck, Democratic Mayor Thomas Murphy led Norman Rosenblum, former mayor who ran as a Conservative/Independent candidate. About two-thirds of the votes had been counted in that election. Murphy had 1,047 votes to Rosenblum's 577 votes. And in the race for Mamaroneck Village Trustee, incumbent Democrat Nora Lucas led Conservative/Independent candidate Stefanie Lividini by 977 to 552 votes, with 66 percent of all votes tallied. In a race for an unexpired term on the Mamaroneck Board of Trustees, Democrat Kelly Wenstrup led Nancy Wasserman of The Friendly Village Party by 1,015 votes to 293 votes.

In Peekskill, with about 95 percent of all votes counted, Democratic Mayor Andre Rainey held a small lead over Republican challenger Vincent Vesce. In a six-way race for three Peekskill City Council seats, all three Democratic incumbents led their Republican Party challengers: Patricia Riley, Vivian Mckenzie and Kathleen Talbot, with about half the unofficial votes counted.

In a three-way race for two seats on the Bedford Council, Democratic challengers Ellen Calves and Bobbi Bittker were leading Republican incumbent Don Scott with about 83 percent of all votes counted.

In another apparent Democratic upset, Cortlandt Town Justice Daniel McCarthy, a Republican, was trailing challenger Maritza Fugaro-Norton by about 200 votes with 83 percent of all votes counted.

In Lewisboro, incumbent Democrats John Pappalardo and Daniel Welsh led in a three-way race for two town council seats.

Finally, Mount Kisco voters approved a $14 million addition/renovation to a town firehouse.